Lions will be without captain Elton Jantjies as they entertain Cheetahs in a Super Rugby Unlocked clash on Saturday evening at Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg.
Jantjies was forced out due to a calf injury sustained in training. His absence sees Gianni Lombard start at fly-half.
Morné van den Berg is at scrum-half while Dan Kriel will captain the side in the midfield where he partners Wandisile Simelane who has been introduced in the outside centre role.
MJ Pelser has started at the blind flank in the lone change among the forwards and the third change. Their opponent Cheetahs will also miss the services skipper and scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar.
His absence due to a knee injury has seen the introduction of Tian Meyer at scrum-half while USA international Ruben de Haas is set to make his competition debut off the bench.
Junior Pokomela will captain the side on the open flank.
Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel (captain), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Morné van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Stean Pienaar, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Junior Pokomela (captain), 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 Chris Massyn, 22 Ruben de Haas, 23 William Small-Smith.
Match information – Lions vs Cheetahs
Date: Saturday, 24 October
Time: 16h30 (1730 Hrs EAT)
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Griffon Colby
Television Match Official: Willie Vos
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby